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report, fair, balanced, and unafraid. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- shepard: the polls have just closed for the governor's race in the state of virginia. going to the polls today, opinion polls had republican bob mcdonnell leading democrat creigh deeds by double digits, and exit polling tonight suggests that in fact mcdonnell is in the lead. as of this moment, we do not have enough data to make an official projection. fox news does expect to project a winner within the hour. stay tuned. carl carman -- cameron is live in richmond, va., at mcdonnell campaign headquarters. >> for only the second time in the history of virginia elections, they think they could sweep the top three positions, governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. this would be a huge achievement
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coming over a few months after obama carried virginia. today, mcdonnell cast a vote for himself. asked about today whether or not national events and issues have seeped into the contest and helped him, here is what he had to say. >> i do think that some of this overreaching of congress on taxes, spending, and regulation has been a clear point departure between me and my opponent. that has helped me in this election. >> democrat creigh deeds, a centrist from the southwestern part of the state, had a difficult time and addressing the obama coalition. he needs a big turnout from african-americans, young voters, and women to overcome what has been a big deficit in the polls.
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he was upbeat today, but he believes it is too close to call. they just went into the ballot with a minute ago. shepard: democrats and republicans have separate ideas about what this means. what is the reality? >> for republicans, it means the cannot only be contenders in the era of obama but it also means that democrats, particularly moderate centrists like creigh deeds could have problems in swing state and congressional district, particularly in the 2010 elections. this would be a big reversal. republicans could point to it as a big victory. it has got to be a cause of concern for democrats unless creigh deeds pulls a surprise tonight. shepard: it is not just virginia. we're watching big contests
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tonight, one in new jersey where they are also picking a governor. john corzine is facing what has amounted to a tough challenge against republican chris christie. the poles are still open for another hour and experts say that it could go either way. then there is the house race we have been telling you about in upstate new york, the 23rd district, near the canadian border. it had big-name republicans fighting against themselves, and analysts say that it could have a big impact on the gop's future. we have team coverage for america's election headquarters. molly line is in saranac, new york. major garrett is looking at what results could mean for the president in washington. first, shannon, what is the feeling about the governor's race where you are? >> so many of the group's carl mentioned in virginia are key groups here. minorities and women.
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what he needs to do is solidify the base and motivated enough to get up the boat. president obama took the state by 15 vote margin, -- 15% margin, campaigning with corzine. they need to get out to the polls and make sure they show up, and we're waiting to find out the numbers of how heavy or light the turnout was today, and that could be a big deciding factor. it is all about the democratic base in this case. shepard: the republican challenger sounded very optimistic today. >> we caught up with chris christie, who is neck and neck in the fight. democrats tend to close strong here in new jersey. he feels good about where he has been, and asked about his prediction, not only does he credit winning, he went beyond that to talk about how he will act as a state governor. but he has to do something no republican has done and unseat an incumbent governor.
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we will have to wait and see if that happens. shepard: this is looking at very close. are the experts suggesting that there's a chance that we might not have this race settled tonight? >> it is quite a possibility from the numbers in speculation. it is possible that it will not be settled tonight. interestingly, there are officials talking about the fact that they are prepared for any contingency, whether it lasts days or weeks. michael steele on the republican side has said, hey, let's add that it, there are lawyers on both sides ready to do battle. there is not an automatic recount provision, but it is an option here if either side requests it. we will have to wait and see if it remains as tight as it looks. shepard: could pay a big role tonight.
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-- daggett could play a big role tonight. this election could be a sign for what is to happen in 2010 and 2012 for congress and the white house. but predicting the future can be few tile, and in the end, this might just paint a picture of the present, especially when it comes to the president. obama and his team have spent a lot of time trying to get governors to win key contests, and observers could argue that failures in those races might amount to symbolic setback for the president. but are they anything more than symbolic? after all, art all politics local? the results have any real world impacts? what is the reality? >> the white house does not believe that whatever the
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results aren't they will affect negatively the future on capitol hill dealing with health care. that does not mean that is the white democrats will interpret the results tonight. one key factor to what, do independents not show up or move over? let me show our viewers something interesting about what happened to the president's relationship with independent voters since being elected. the president had a 65% approval rating and 64% approval rating amongst independence in late january. let's ask for to late october. the overall rating is down to 54%, 49% among independents. that does not explain the move away, but it is part of the picture. in exit polls tomorrow we start sifting through independents not showing up. some will start to worry on
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capitol hill. shepard: is it too early to gauge the presidential impact on these races? >> in virginia and new jersey, voters focused on local issues, statewide issues, knew that the president was for the democrats and factored that in, but made most of their decisions based on factors closer to them. that does not mean that the president does not think about race in larger terms and his support for the democrats factoring in. the fact that the endorsement is not wait strongly does not mean he did not try and does not suggest the endorsement may not have been as powerful as it was a year ago. shepard: one of the most interesting races we're watching is the battle we have been telling you about in upstate new york. new york post 23rd district. it triggered a showdown between some of the biggest names in the republican party, and you see some of them there. analysts call it a sign of a power struggle heading into 2010
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and beyond, and it could be a big setback for president obama's health-care overhaul. breaking tonight, reporters asking the top senate democrats whether he could get a bill passed this year. the answer was something we have not heard before. this is america's election headquarters. live from new york and the states were all of the races are going down tonight, fox news is still waiting to make a projection in the state of virginia. we are expecting to have won in minutes ahead. it is great to have you with us.
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shepard: the poles have been closed for 12 minutes in virginia is not able to make a projection, but we expect to be able to make one in a few minutes. new york until three days ago have three candidates, republican, democratic and conservative. here is the back story. the republican, deedee
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scozzafaba dropped out and endorsed owens. tonight, the choice is between islands and hoffman. she considers herself a moderate supporting abortion rights and gay rights. some big names, including sarah palin, have backed the conservative. now it all comes down to two candidates, instead of three. keep in mind, scozzafaba's name is still on the ballot. what is the latest on the ground? >> both candidates are doing last-minute retail politicking. here is bill owens earlier this morning at the polling places. >> i am a common sense,
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conservative ronald reagan republican. it translates into common sense, and common sense is not so common anymore. >> we got those mixed up. that was dug hoffman. here is bill owens. >> with a clear, unequivocal choice to move forward with someone who is independent and has been for most of my life, as well as someone who has been working in a bipartisan way for the district. shepard: both candidates are getting last-minute backing on this one. >> republicans are really coming in for hoffman. the rnc congressional committee is making 140,000 phone calls on his behalf since sunday, and unions, which had been splitting their vote, they are now
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backing owens. so both sides are getting a boost in these final hours. shepard: let's get to another congressional race that may not have been getting enough national attention but certainly has the same drum up. a republican in california is trying to pull off a major upset against a well-known democrat in a democratic district. the republican, dave harmon, is facing the democratic lieutenant governor, john garamendi, in the 10th congressional district. harmer hopes his fiscal conservative message reaches both sides, but he is up against obstacles. 40% of voters in the district are registered democrat, compared to 20% republican. money is an issue. harner just posted his first add this weekend. both polls indicate that
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garamendi is ahead in double digits. democrats are worried the low turnout could victories even closer. the republican said that a win would, "barack washington d.c. to its very core." -- "rock washington d.c. to its very core." mayor bloomberg is running for his third term in office, something he could do only after convincing the city council to change the term limit law. his opponent here is the democrat william thompson, jr., city comptroller, who oversees the big apple's budget. eric is following the race live in new york city tonight. mayor bloomberg spent tens of millions of his own fortune for this campaign. our folksiness tonight? -- how are folks seeing this tonight? >> by the time this is over,
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michael bloomberg will have spent a record for self-financed campaign, $100 million of his own money. he has 17 billion. that translates to $35,000 an hour. he will have to close 12 percentage points to 18 percentage points. he is a lifelong democrat who has run in the city for conservative. we will see if he is able to pull it off. shepard: mayor bloomberg's push to change term limits became a big issue, and it was the that opposed the previous mayor's attempts to do the same thing. now he is all for it. >> yes, a sense of contentiousness and anchor from many new yorkers about that issue. rudy giuliani served two terms because of limits, but mr. blumberg was able to get the city council to overturn it so he could run again for mayor tonight. the 56-year-old african- american comptroller has been
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effective, but maybe not enough to put him over the top. bloomberg is reelected, he becomes the fourth man in city history to serve three terms. shepard: atlanta has not had a white mayor for 36 years in a city where the population is 60% african-american. now, it appears that things could be changing. recent polls show that the city councilwoman, mary norwood, leads the other five candidates. atlanta holds a runoff election next month. here at headquarters, we're still waiting for call in virginia. the polls closed 18.5 minutes ago. we are expecting a production any minute. first, a convicted rapist to made a habit of keeping the bodies of women he killed at home for years. now investigators are reviewing disturbing new developments in the case. that is just ahead.
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plus, moving forward in the health-care battle. (announcer) we understand. you need to save money.
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shepard: 22 minutes after the hour, and our election ticker is at the bottom of the screen. we will give you more information as we get it automated from the various
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collection centers in cities where the race is on tonight. we will have a prediction on virginia at some point this evening. health-care overhaul may take longer, that is the signal we are getting from senate democrats tonight. president obama says he wants a bill on his desk by the end of the year, and today reporters asked harry reid point-blank, can you get this bill done this year? here is what he said. >> first of all, we are not going to be bound by any time lines. we need to do the best job that we can for the american people. we want quality legislation, and we are going to do that. shepard: one reason for the delay is they are still waiting for cost estimate from the congressional budget office. james is live on capitol hill. they are trying to clarify the common now, but on the surface it seems like an enormous setback for obama.
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>> it was a clear acknowledgment of difficulty meeting the deadline. a curious statement today, saying it remains to senator possible to get health care reform done by the end of the year, and have the momentum, but there is there a reason why they cannot achieve the goal. but at the statement was just a reaffirmation of the pledge to president made to stick few weeks ago in new orleans saying that they would get the health care done by the end of the year. shepard: on the house side, republicans have come up with their own plan. >> it is more of a talking point out. it has leaked out to some extent, but nonetheless, the leadership saw to complain to the voters would distinguish their bill from democrats. >> i will make clear that there will be no taxpayer funds used for abortion and as a republican
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plan will make it clear, the benefits are available in our plant only for legal immigrants in the united states. >> to bust on republicans for talking about a plan they have not seen fit to release, black binders were labeled republican health care alternative, and the binders are stuck with empty pages. they are still waiting for the carbon footprint. shepard: james, thanks a lot. even as we focus on today's elections, it is next year's context that could have a better outcome. that is coming up inside of our continuing election coverage from the headquarters in new york. a couple of days ago, three college softball players went for a drive and never returned. tonight there is breaking news in that mystery.
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we just learned what happened to those young women, and we will have that for you, next.
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shepard: police in north dakota say that they have now found the bodies of three young women who disappeared under unusual circumstances last weekend. investigators say that the women were teammates on the dickinson state university softball team and they made a pair of phone calls to a friend sunday night, saying that they were near water
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and needed help. that, according to police, was when the line went dead. after that there was no word from them at all. search crews focused their efforts today on patterson at lake, west of dickenson, but just moments ago they reported finding the car near the area with their bodies still inside. jonathan is following these developments. any idea what happened here? >> nothing yet. police are still investigating the cause of death. they did say earlier when this was a search operation that they did not suspect foul play. they pointed out what they called frantic telephone calls that the women had mentioned water, and it appeared that there was no attacker involved, but it may have been an accident on folding. still, right now, that remains speculation. we await further word from police tonight. the women were good friends, and
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according to their parents and other friends, they used to go out to the likes together and swatch stars -- lakes, to watch istars. in the dark, they took a tragic turn. one other note, there was a career service in support. -- a prayer service in support. that will be a different thing now. shepard: it is the bottom of the hour. time for top of the news. one year ago president obama first came into the presidency as democrats increased their hold on the house and senate. now on election day 2009, the major races we are watching include two big congressional
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contests. the first is in new york, where doug kaufman is facing off against the democrat bill owens, and the other is in california, where democratic lt. gov. john garamendi is battling david harmer. and we're already looking ahead to 2010, where a lot of seats are up for grabs. both parties might already have their eyes on certain prizes. jim, what is the story? >> at the midterm elections are so -- at the midterm elections are so tough on presidents, that only to debut in history have avoided switches. george w. bush with his handler and 9/11 and franklin roosevelt for his efforts to combat the depression. >> those are exceptions that prove the rule. in other cases, since world war
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ii, seats have been lost after the first election. >> the soaring campaign rhetoric for which obama was famous went to the nitty gritty of policy decisions, disappointing some and energizing the opposition. >> there are opponents for some of the programs, the democratic proposals. much less enthusiasm among democrats than there was a year ago. >> nobody expects democrats to win 40 seats that they need to take back the house, although they will chip away, but in the senate, democrats have just enough votes to prevail. >> if republicans are able to bring democrats down from their current 62 even 57 or 58, they will be able to win a lot of votes on the floor of the senate since, of course, you need 60 to cut off debate.
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>> and avoid a filibuster occurred with slim margins, the most ambitious part of the thing could be a risk. the outcome can determine how much support a president as, or whether the power starts to wane halfway through the term of office. shepard: do not forget to check out foxnews.com. you will find results, breakdowns of each match, and the background ofach candidate. click on the politics link. one big question is what, if anything, these elections can tell us about how americans are feeling now and whether this could be an indicator of the 2010 and 2012 elections. voters have talked about the latest in the exit polls today. tell us about it. >> it is very interesting to hear these numbers, and you raised the question, was
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president obama factor in virginia opossum votes today? 52% of virginia voters approve of the job the president is doing, 47% disapproved. interestingly, despite this majority, many disagree with policy direction. they are separating policy out for the country. let's take a look at the break down. 53%, a majority in virginia, said that they think the government is doing too many things these days that are better left to businesses and individuals. 42% think the government should be doing even more to help them. most voters are saying that the president was not a factor when they came to the polls today, and that is what the white house has been telling us, despite the fact that he spent a lot of time campaigning. it did not weigh on voters to much.
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18% said yes, i was trying to support the president with my vote. 24% said they were trying to express opposition. we're still waiting for the polls to close in new jersey and results from virginia, as well, but we already know how voters in new jersey feel about the president to a certain extent. >> it was a state the president took easily last year. 57% of the new jersey boat went to president obama over john mccain in the presidential vote. they think the president is doing a good job. 42% disapprove of the job he is doing, but john corzine is an incumbent with a record in new jersey and has to win on that record. take a look at what newt jersey voters are caring about as they head into this. the economy continues to take the top spot.
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31% say that that was what mattered to me when i walked in, 26% say property-tax is. for those of you who do not know, property tax is very high in new jersey. john corzine promised to lower them, but he has not succeeded. 20% consider government corruption the most important part, and 44 new jersey state officials last summer were holed up in handcuffs, so corruption is still on the mind of those voters. so things are low, despite the national debate on health care. it does not seem to factor much into these gubernatorial votes. a lot to do tonight. shepard: jobs, jobs, jobs, and politics is local. we knew it. we're getting exit polling in tonight and we will have those to route the evening. they are images that we have never seen of the planet in our own solar system. a satellite launched years ago
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delivers dramatic photographs, and we will have them for you, coming up. and continuing coverage is coming live from america's election headquarters.
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shepard: continuing coverage as you decide across the country in cities and states. the tickers across the bottom of the screen, and we have new data from virginia where i am told 14% have just reported mcdonnell leading with a two-one margin, actually. i should tell you that we do not have enough data yet to call this race, but the moment that we do we will bring it to you. the city of cleveland gets more and more disturbing. a short time ago, police confirmed that they have found what looks to them to be four
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more bodies and a human skull today in the house where a convicted rapist lived. he is on the right there. a skull was sent in the basement, wrapped in a paper bag. authorities plan to check the walls and floors of the home tomorrow. police initially found six bodies last week after a woman reported she had been raped in that home and cops went to check out the scene. cleveland's chief of police said that they have not identified anybody's and prosecutors are officially started in the man with five counts of aggravated murder, among other charges. sowell was released in 2005 after serving 15 years for rape. he has lived in that home since then. more signs of improvement today for america's top automakers.
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the big three reporting sales for october, and general motors sales were up since four years ago when the crisis kept folks out of the showrooms. that is the first green arrow in more than two years next to general motors. ford was the only auto maker that did not take a bailout and did not have to file for bankruptcy protection. it was a different store, however, for chrysler, with sales down to 30%. analysts say that october was a telling month for the car industry, showing how strong the market is without any effect from the cash for clunkers program. nasa is releasing every foreseen images of our solar system today, -- never-before-seen images of mercury. decent camera. chris is a live with details from our newsroom tonight. >> that is one heck of a camera. i want one. nasa has now photograph almost
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all of mercury, and with each new image comes new discovery. mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, and one of the most intriguing two scientists, who today unveiled new images of areas we had never seen before. >> when studying a plan that, it is like reading. there are clues to route that point toward a final plot line. >> and the liftoff of messenger. >> messenger launched in 2004, a satellite roughly the size of an office building. it took more than a thousand high-resolution pictures as it flew past five weeks ago. >> we have seen other areas like this, but this is the most spectacular. >> this picture was taken more than 130,000 miles away. matches hover above the planet to capture some of the most detailed images.
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scientists are looking for volcanic activity that occurred on mercury more than 3 billion years after researchers thought it had stopped and others found large amounts of iron insectarium -- iron and titanium on the surface. messengers of $4.6 million project. the probe will begin orbiting mercury in 2011 and send us back even more incredible pictures. shepard: the polls are about to close in the state of new jersey, just 14.5 minutes away. one contest we're watching here looks like republicans may have taken back virginia opossum governor's mansion, and experts say that it is possible that the gop could have a lot to celebrate tonight. we report as you decide 2009 from election headquarters is next.
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shepard: the white house and democrats are saying that tonight's races do not mean much when it comes to the midterm election, but many republicans see results tonight as a possible referendum on the obama presidency. so what happens if republicans take all the three big races that we are falling, new jersey, new york, and virginia? with us now is our guest. great to see you. i wonder if it is fair to say that each different location might mean a different thing as the issues are different in each spot? >> you're right. this race is all about local issues, but it is important to know that barack obama is overshadowed get these two major elections.
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>> the 23rd congressional district in new york post virginia -- >> if democrats lose virginia, no big deal. if they lose 23, no surprise. but if john corzine cannot hang on to the governor's mansion in new jersey, it is it really big problem for barack obama and the democratic message. shepard: we all know that john corzine's favorability rating was below 40%, he did not deliver on taxes, and on and on and on. >> christie was the last person in 20-odd years to go. it will require quite a bit for him to pull it out, but if he
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does, it will be a serious problem nationally for democrats. shepard: what will people running campaigns for people on the right and left take away from what we learned tonight? >> first of all, in new york 23, conservative republicans control the agenda and nominating process of republican candidates. it also tells us a lot about the strength of the obama message. the message was taken out of the gubernatorial election, and you see deeds floundering. african-american votes are down and there are tough times been had outside of the d.c. metropolitan area. the question is, can obama's message translates into 2010, and we are not seeing that. shepard: let's face it, african- american turn out boosted democratic members across the country. is there a sense that african- americans, the base that was so excited about last candidacy,
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might not have as much a reason to come out this time? >> sure. the turnout will always be lower in midterm elections, even lower in others -- shepard: towards 2010. >> it will be lower than the presidential election, and democrats will have to look elsewhere. perhaps the hispanic vote, but african-american voters will not come out in the same numbers that they did in 2008. that is without question. shepard: we have done thousands of emails because a liberal republican in the 23rd district was running against a conservative and republican backed the democrat. what does that tell us about the gop going forward, if anything? is the far right saying, this is how we are going to be"? -- "this is how we're going to be"?
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>> no doubt about it. the question is, does that matter in general elections? that remains to be seen. shepard: they want to take the party to the middle more, but was that a sign that democrats are doing the same thing and everyone was running in the middle when there was a presidential election on the line? >> the turnout was far higher in the middle, of course, but in off-year in midterm elections, things are determined by the voters were more liberal and more conservative, so we will see in the next months. shepard: great to see you. thank you. coming up in the next hours, a special guest you do not want to
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miss. bill o'reilly joins us moments from now. team fox, you decide 2009. . . n
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shepard: polls close close to an hour ago in virginia. waiting for data before fox news makes a prediction. three minutes from now. stay tuned for continuing coverage. updating fox top stories. senate majority leader harry reid says lawmakers will not be bound by time lines when it comes to passing a health care reform bill. >> hey end of the year now that seems in jeopardy. general motors reporting that in october, it had its first monthly sales gain in almost two years. most other major automakers posting gain. police in cleveland found several more bodies of convicted rapist anthony sowells.
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so far he has been charged with five counts of aggravated murder. on this date in 1998 jesse ventura won the minnesota governor's race with just 37% of the vote. jesse ventura was born in minneapolis, rose to fame playing a villain in the ring. his taker's -- character's motto motto. got into acting and then politics. in fact, he served as mayor of suburb of brooklyn park. the race for governor, a different animal all together. ventura with a huge underdog and sold t shirts to raise campaign funds. grass roots efforts paid off and unlikier victory in u.s. political history but the body flexed his political muscle 11 years ago today. this is a fox news alert. fox news now projects that the state of virginia has been won by the republican robert mcdonnell now with 63% of the votes that are in.
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30% of all precincts reporting. fox news projects bob mcdonnell the republican to be the next governor of new jersey. excuse me of the state of virginia. bill o'reilly is with us now as we wait for a special edition of factor bill, how are you? >> i'm ok, shep. i'm curious to know what you think is the most important aspect of the entire election season? what's the most important to you? shepard: it seems to us the most important thing we have learned thus far is that virginia now has the republican governor. now we wait to find out what happens in the state of new york's 23rd and what happens in new jersey where bill, as you know. they have a very low approval rating for their current governor, the democrat jon corzine. yet, it is nit and tuck tonight as polls are scheduled to close in 15 seconds. we will know a lot more. bill: good exit polling, we will look for you at 10:00 this

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The FOX Report With Shepard Smith
FOX News November 3, 2009 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

News/Business. Analysis and interpretation of the day's lead stories. (CC)

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